Tuesday, November 27, 2007

If I clicked those ruby red slippers, where would they take me?

Home is my father, awaiting us in the airport with a faux chauffeur sign.
Home is enjoying a second cup of coffee in my flannel pajamas because someone else has already claimed the shower.
Home is my mother's binder full of menus and meal plans for a week's worth of house guests.
Home is revisionist history and the brother I share it with.
Home is Charades games and the annual lore of games in years past.
Home is a private joke, slipped into a backpack so that I would not see it until I was gone.

Home is ice cream cakes for birthdays, the more crunchies the better.
Home is a big lovable boxer with a far-too-large tongue.
Home is driving through familiar streets, singing along to familiar songs.
Home is the smell of the NYC subway and the lights of Times Square.
Home is Fujiyama Mama sushi and Target and DSW and a house which is mine, but not mine right now.
Home is our family -- by birth and by choice.

Home is clipped accents and orderly queues.
Home is my bed, my shower, my stuff.
Home is the place where my hair comes out right for the first time in days.
Home is the rhythm of school day routines.
Home is the friends who spot my children at the classroom door and surround them with giddy, joyful hugs.
Home is friends who welcome me, too, with an on-the-spot coffee date, an invite for lunch.
Home is the gossip and news that I've missed.
Home is endless laundry (at least 2 hours left on this load alone).

There is no doubt about it; I am at home on two continents now. There is a comfort and a satisfaction and a heady sense of accomplishment that comes with that knowledge. And yet, at the same time I am learning that my seemingly covetous dual sense of place comes with its own painful price. For I can never feel like I've come home without also feeling the loss of a home left behind.


Blogger Gina said...

And to think you wondered if London would ever become "home". I'm so glad it has!

1:32 AM  
Blogger Liesl said...

What a blessing to be equally at home in either place :) Welcome home!

2:05 AM  
Blogger Victoria said...

This was such a warm post...the more "homes" the better, right?

2:00 PM  
Blogger Iota said...

This is such an achievement - to be at home in two places. Good jahb. Don't underestimate what you have managed.

6:39 PM  
Blogger Steph said...

Glad that you can finally call London "home". And the image of your dad with the faux chauffeur sign is so cute and heartwarming. :) Sounds like a wonderful visit (and return "home").

9:49 PM  
Blogger Patois said...

A small price to pay -- the sense of loss -- for the tremendous sense of belonging you now have in both places.

12:47 AM  
Blogger Dana said...

This is absolutely beautiful. As someone who moved around all her life, I so know that feeling of coming home being bittersweet.

2:42 AM  
Blogger Jennifer said...

So beautiful, all of this. For the comfort and the longing for what is and will be left. *sigh*

4:27 AM  

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